Saturday, October 24, 2009

Stopping by Butts Bridge

Plans for my day off yesterday included an excursion with my cousin Amy to parts of the "Quiet Corner" of Connecticut, or "The Last Green Valley" as it has also been called, in search of some foliage pictures. The area - over 1,080 square miles - lies within a Congressionally designated National Heritage Corridor along the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers and represents the remaining substantial greenbelt within the urban and suburban sprawl between Washington and Boston.

I had my fingers crossed that the weather was going to be nice for a change but alas, it was pretty darned chilly, windy, and overcast for most of the day though the sun did try to poke its head out a time or two while we were driving the back roads of Woodstock, Eastford, and Union. Before we got that far, though, I made a brief stop on my way to my cousin's house for some pictures along the banks of the Quinebaug River in Canterbury near Butts Bridge.

The current Butts Bridge was built in 1937 following several other bridges that had been built near the same spot starting way back in 1728 by two gentlemen from Plainfield, Canterbury's neighboring town to the east. That bridge was swept away in a freshet (a sudden overflow of a stream resulting from a heavy rain or a thaw) and in 1733 another bridge was built in the same place by Samuel Butts, a Canterbury resident. Several years later, that bridge was swept away by ice.

A third bridge was built in the same spot but it, too, was damaged in the Great Flood of 1867. In the picure above you can see a bit of the old abutments that are still standing just north of the current bridge. For all that the Quinebaug doesn't look like a mighty river, it has certainly done more than its fair share of damage and claimed a good number of lives over the years, too.

Despite the fact that we have had rain hand-over-fist this year, the waters of the Quinebaug are currently very low. When I took these pictures yesterday, I was standing along a bank that had been underwater in July when I took pictures in the same area. Click here for one of those pictures if you'd like to see the difference.

Butts Bridge was last renovated in 1988 and even though it looks like it could use a new coat of paint, I kind of like the rusted areas - it seems to add more character to what could be considered a rather ordinary bridge if one didn't have a slight inkling of what it took for a bridge to finally withstand the waters of the Quinebaug River in this area.

Even though I'm still working on my Gettysburg post (heard that one before, right?), I'll try to get some pictures of our drive yesterday posted soon, too. After all, just because you aren't in New England doens't mean you can't enjoy some of the New England foliage, right?!?


  1. Anonymous12:13 PM EDT

    Oh Linda, the colors are just gorgeous! WOW!

  2. photos are beautiful! there were a lot of butts in georgia. there was a butts antiques too. guess that sounded funny, i mean butts, the name!

    smiles, bee

  3. Beautiful! I was hoping for a photo day of our leaves, but the sun wouldn't cooperate.

  4. Can you believe I am up this late? Blogging at 10:30 P.M.! I just read your comments. I'm also listening to that darn old on the roof. Not fair, is it?

    I'm about to read your post now. ;-)

  5. that was me deleting..the comment went twice.

    Great foliage shots, Duchess.
    Interesting info about the bridge, no ifs, ands, or ... about it. Sorry, couldn't resist. That nap today refreshed my brain. ha ha

    A group around these parts of CT is trying to get National Heritage designation for this area. Hopefully it will happen someday.

  6. woopsie doodle - that was supposed to say, 'that darn old rain' on the roof.

  7. I'm sure that bridge has been the 'butt' of many jokes over the years!

  8. Given the lonely bridge, the colors, the swift water, and the name Butts, you almost have the makings of a truly good spooky movie. Oh and the pictures are wonderful.

  9. First off, love the seasonal background. Very Edger Allen Poe. Second, Wow, your fall colors are much more advanced than ours. I am a little bit jealous, thanks for sharing yours. As usual you did a great job on the photos, and you are right, a little rust gives character.

  10. I agree the bridge needing a lick of paint adds to it's charm.

    You got some great shots Linda.

  11. So scenic with beautiful colours.

  12. Beautiful pictures, Linda! I really love the first one with the contrast of the bridge and the foliage--though with the rust, the bridge seems to be sporting it's own fall color, doesn't it?


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